The need to win or succeed in competitive exams is a must to have a successful career.
This is more so in developing countries where education is a primary requisite for a stable career.
The competition is intense for entrance exams like medicine, management, fashion, engineering in top-rated universities and colleges.
Some crack these competitive exams with ease and confidence.
But many cannot succeed even after repeated attempts with laborious preparation.
This indicates more emphasis towards the mindset besides hard work put in.
Hence we also need a proper approach and strategy in the preparation.
Strategy for How to Crack Competitive Exams
1) A decision to target or achieve the goal; As a foremost thing, set up the desired score (say-99%) or the order of rank (say within-1st to 10th position) you wish to achieve in the competitive exam. This step brings a precise clarity of what marks or scores you need to accomplish in the exam. Going through previous competitive exam records indicate the marks scored by toppers. So if wish to achieve the said rank, you may need to achieve the previously scored marks or grade and ±10 marks of recent toppers.
2) A definite plan to make up the target; Once the goal is set, assess how much of target or score you can make up by your present or current standards. This can be affirmed by solving a previous exams paper of, i.e., past papers within the stipulated time. Once you solve them, evaluate the answers yourself honestly by referring to previous answers, i.e., key released after the previous exam.
Having known your standards, see the syllabus you need to cover in entirety for the competitive exams. Select appropriate Books to cover the curriculum. Fix up a time to complete the syllabus and maximum possible number of times to revise the covered syllabus (because without revision it is useless to cover large syllabus 🙂 as you will not remember them during exam instantly).
3) Amendment of the plan to achieve target; Keeping syllabus in view cover the subjects. Some chapter may appear harsh and time taking to process, then you cover it as briefly as possible and go to next. The briefly covered chapters become easy for your minds to process next time ;-).
Even it is advisable to make a team of friends who wish to succeed in the competitive exam and help each other in coverage of syllabus as this can save time (but casual chat can waste your time! so behold ;-)).
During the preparation be sure to practice thoroughly any mathematical, statistical problems or formulas if any in the syllabus.
Even practice the chemical structures present. Try to make short notes of relevant topics which you need to remember to revise easily.
To answer general knowledge type questions, read your daily and weeklies. Have a chat about the topic with your friends during snacks or so, to have a more clear idea and memory of the topic.
4) Revise and Revise-Study Skill
Once the syllabus is covered, go for revision as many times as possible with constant evaluation of your standard by solving previous question papers after each revision. Habituate even to complete the paper half hour earlier than stipulated time.
If the exams are of multiple choice type, it is less strenuous to answer but if it is of essay typewriting, etc. even practice writing essays as it enhances your writing speed, handwriting, grammar and mental skill required to write. So revision is an important study skill.
Remember that without proper revision it’s of no use to cover the vast amount of syllabus.
Writing the exam: How to solve the paper?
If Exam is of Essay type: Like in state service exams.
This requires two things. Writing speed with clear, readable handwriting and also creative answering. If preparing for civil services or another sort of exams which test your ability of judgment and reasoning, read essays from daily newspapers, magazines, and other publications. So the emphasis on practice before exams is quite essential to enhance both these skills
♣ Once you get the Question paper, read all the questions first and decide which you can answer.
♣ Then while answering, write short questions first and then go for long ones. This is necessary as you can score more for individual short answers than for a single long answer.
♣ Leave proper space in between words and lines. If any diagrams are present, draw and label them clearly to gain notice and more score.
If Exam is of Multiple Choice Questions type:
For exams like APGMAT, GRE, TOEFL, AP U.S. History exam and various scholarship entrances the mode is objective type.
♦ Answer questions as fast as possible. For this, you must practice completing previous exam question papers in the shortest time possible.
♦ If a question is not known or time taking or doubtful better go for the next and return to it after you answer all the known ones.
♦ If a question has four choices and if you are in doubt then eliminate two unsuitable ones and of the remaining 2 select the best one.
♦ Be careful with terminology because the meaning of terms can help you sometimes recognize the right answer.
♦ Even then If you are not sure or is out of your knowledge to answer any question, better don’t answer to avoid negative marks.
♦ Complete the question paper quickly and come back from the beginning a couple of times.
This will help you answer more unanswered questions correctly as it gives time for understanding the questions and answers those which sound confusing to you before. And also some questions need calculations or images or structures to do in rough work to think and find the right answer.
But this rechecking has a disadvantage that you may make further mistakes than before and lose score !! bear it in mind.
♦ Calculate your GPA to know how much to score and also it creates awareness and even encouragement to prepare for exams better.
Have Right Mindset
Take inspiration, support, suggestions from elders and friends; This is very important to derive strength to complete the entire process to succeed in competitive exams.
Suggestion from previous achievers can be very helpful. Have coaching sessions or attend some group studies or preparative exams to help you mold your vision and thought towards success.
Visualize your success, frequently and be optimistic. Remember, everyone was like you before they had their success in competitive exams.
Things you should not do:
- Don’t worry about the level of competition– because the number of people appearing for the exam has nothing to do with the score you wish to achieve. The ladder of success is crowded at the bottom and not at the top.
- Don’t rely on too many ideas or suggestion you get from others. You try to figure out your idea and sketch of how to prepare and succeed.
- Don’t bunk your regular classes or school to prepare for the competitive exams because, remember that a busy person can handle extra work but not the free person.
Competitive exams are essential in the education system but getting educated, or studying is not aimed at just succeeding in competitive exams alone.